Saturday, 30 September 2017
My decision affects you all
We all inter-depend on one another, I think. Whatever choices I make in life will somehow affect you or some other person somewhere in the world. Whether I buy this or that type of food, clothing or whatever will affect the economy or well-being of other people living elsewhere.
The other day, the robin brought these thoughts to my mind.
Let us say I wanted to buy a traditional petrol (gas) driven car or an all-electric car. Which one is best for me and for all those affected by my decision?
For the sake of argument we will say that both cars are identical - same shape, volume, capacity etc ... So the materials, or "ingredients" required to make them, like steel, glass, plastic, rubber and so on is the same. So let's exclude these from our comparison.
The robin told me to compare just the mode of motion or mobility. What makes the car move.
Are the materials required to make the petrol engine the same as those required for the electric engine? Do they cost more or less to make? That is the materials required as well as the making of the actual engines. Are they both as environmentally friendly in their making or does one engine require more expensive materials, or more un-friendly materials, which have to be found and transported long distances before they are used to make the engine. What I am comparing here is which engine is overall better in its making and the materials used to make it.
Then let's look at what makes the car move. The petrol driven car requires you to dig for oil from underground, transport it somewhere where it is made into petrol, transport that petrol and distribute it everywhere to petrol stations where I can go and fill my tank.
The electric engine requires you to make a "tank" (or battery) where the electricity in my car is stored. This requires special "ingredients" or materials. Then the electricity has to be made at the electric power station and distributed to me to "fill" my battery. Is the cost of making this electricity, its environmentally friendly qualities, etc ... more or less than that of petrol? For example, if the electricity is made from burning coal, or from nuclear then we have to consider the pollution effects of that coal or the disposal of the nuclear bits we no longer want after we have made the electricity. I'm sure you understand what I mean. The robin certainly does!
Then we have to compare the actual distance travelled. If I want to drive X miles - how much petrol do I need in my car to drive that distance at a certain speed and efficiency? Is that more or less than the amount of electricity I need in my car to travel the same X miles at the same speed and efficiency? What are the comparisons in costs, efficiencies, environmentally friendliness etc ... etc ... of the two types of fuels.
Finally, my robin asks - is it better to have a red or a blue car? I prefer white. The robin prefers a green car.
And ... how can I attract more robins to my garden? More worms in the ground?